Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year in Review & Challenge Update

As 2011 quickly draws to a close, here is a look back at my reading hits and misses from the 2011 reading challenges I participated in:

Overall Reading Accomplishments

Total Number of Books Read: 85

This number is down slightly from 2010, when I read 90 books, but still well above my goal to read 75 books during 2011. 

The majority of my reads were from the historical fiction genre, followed by fantasy -- no surprise there, since they are my two favourite genres.

2011 Challenge Update - Hits

The 2011 Historical Fiction Challenge

My goal for this challenge, which was hosted by the ladies at Historical Tapestry, was to read 20 works of historical fiction during the year.   I surpassed by goal and read 30, although I didn't review all of them! 

The 2011 British Books Challenge

My goal for this challenge, hosted by Becky over at The Bookette, was to read and review 12 books by British authors.   While I have read 18 books by British authors this year, so far I've only reviewed 11 of them.   My final three British reads came over the past couple of weeks, and I simply haven't had time to review them yet but will do so in early 2012. 

The 2011 Chivalrous Deeds Challenge

The intent of this challenge, hosted by Holly at Bippity Boppity Book, was to read and review works of historical fiction set in royal courts.  There was no target achievement level.   I read 15 works set in royal courts this year, half of all the historical fiction I read.  I do love royal historical fiction!

2011 Challenge Update - Misses 

The 2011 Victorian Literature Challenge 

I joined this challenge, hosted by Bethany at Subtle Melodrama, with the intent of finally reading some the great Victorian novels sitting unread on my shelf.   My goal was modest -- read five books.   I didn't even read one *sigh*  While I've loved pretty much every classic I've read, I definitely have to be in the right mood for them -- 2011 was just not the year for me and classics it seems.   Maybe next year?

The 2011 Georgette Heyer Challenge

Hosted by Taylor over at All Things Historical Fiction, my goal was to read three to five works by Georgette Heyer during 2011.  While I like Heyer's stuff, and have tons of her books either on my shelves or on my Kindle, I didn't feel like Regency Romances this year.  As a result, I read none.   

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Historical Fiction Challenge

Since historical fiction is my favourite genre I simply can't pass up the opportunity to participate in the 2012 Historical Fiction Challenge, which will be hosted once again by Historical Tapestry.   I participated in the 2011 edition of the challenge, well surpassing my goal to read 20 works of historical fiction during the year. 

For the 2012 edition of the challenge I will once again aim to read 20 works of historical fiction (Severe Bookaholism).

I've set up a page specifically to track my progress on this challenge.  You can link to it by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Ten List: My Favourite Reads of 2011

Without further ado, here is a list of the ten books I most enjoyed reading in 2011.   Since I had difficulty determining which of several books to select as my last few picks, I decided to include those that didn't make the top ten cut as honourable mentions.  Click on the book title for a link, if applicable, to my review. 

My Top Ten

(1) A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin.   It was five long years between the release of books four and five of Martin's phenomenal A Song of Ice and Fire series, but this book was definitely worth the wait.  Martin is a master of the fantasy genre and he once again delivers with his latest novel.

(2) Devil's Brood by Sharon Kay Penman.   Historical fiction at its finest, this novel follows Henry II of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine and their brood of children.  For me, Devil's Brood is one of Penman's best. 

(3) I Am The Chosen King by Helen Hollick (published in the UK as Harold the King).  This fantastic novel by Helen Hollick focuses on England in the years immediately leading up to the Norman Conquest.   Full of rich historical detail and well-developed characters, this is a definite must read for historical fiction fans.

(4) Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman.  This is the unforgettable story of Beattie Blaxland and her granddaughter, Emma.  The story shifts in time between the present day and the late 1920s - 1950s, and is set in the UK and Australia. 

(5) The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (published in the U.S. and elsewhere as Someone Knows My Name).   A beautifully written tale that follows the life of Aminato Diallo, who, as a young girl, was captured by slavers in Africa and sent to the United States as a slave.   

(6)  Mad Ship by Robin Hobb.  While I loved all three novels in Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders trilogy, this book was the best of the three.   Hobb creates such fascinating worlds and characters that her books are definitely a must read for fans of the fantasy genre. 

(7) Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran.   Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, this is a wonderfully engaging story of Marie Grosholtz, better known to the world as Madame Tussaud. 

(8) The Wedding Shroud by Elisabeth Storrs.   Set in early Rome and the Etruscan city of Veii in the fourth century BC, this novel follows the life of Caecilia, a young Roman woman whose hand is offered in marriage to an Etruscan nobleman in order to cement a peace treaty between Rome and the neighboring Etruscan civilization.  

(9) Elizabeth I by Margaret George.   Hands down the best fictional account of Elizabeth I I've read, George's novel focuses on the later years of Elizabeth's reign, beginning at the time of the Spanish Armada. 

(10) The Restorer by Amanda Stevens.  Paranormal romance is not normally a genre I read, but this book came highly recommended (thanks Jenny Q!) so I decided to give it a try.   I couldn't put it down and can't wait for the next book to be published.

Honourable Mentions

(11) Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick.  Elizabeth Chadwick is one of the best writers of historical fiction out there today.   I wouldn't be surprised if her latest novel, which focuses on Empress Matilda and Queen Adeliza, makes an appearance on many Best of 2011 Historical Fiction lists. 

(12) Blackveil by Kristen Britain.  Blackveil is the fourth novel in Britain's Green Rider series, and I have mixed emotions about this one.  While I wasn't happy with many of the events of this novel, there is no question that I've thought about this book a lot since reading it early in 2011, and that I can't wait for the next installment in the series. 

(13) Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson.   One of the most unique fantasy novels I've had the pleasure of reading, Mistborn was a delight to read.   Sanderson builds a complex world, one full of interesting characters. 

(14) Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley.   Another great book from Susanna Kearsley. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mailbox Monday....Boxing Day Edition

Happy Boxing Day!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas or holiday season.   This week's edition of Mailbox Monday includes books and book-related items I received as Christmas gifts :-) 

Mailbox Monday is a weekly travelling meme that is being hosted for the month of December by Jenny Q over at Let Them Read Books.

Received for Review:

The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose

A sweeping and suspenseful tale of secrets, intrigue, and lovers separated by time, all connected through the mystical qualities of a perfume created in the days of Cleopatra-and lost for 2,000 years. Jac L'Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances-and of her mother's suicide-she moves to America, leaving the company in the hands of her brother Robbie. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing-leaving a dead body in his wake-Jac is plunged into a world she thought she'd left behind. 

 Back in Paris to investigate her brother's disappearance, Jac discovers a secret the House of L'Etoile has been hiding since 1799: a scent that unlocks the mysteries of reincarnation. The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra's Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet's battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac's quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.

Won (from Historical Fiction Connection)

Queen Hereafter by Susan Fraser King

Refugee. Queen. Saint. In eleventh-century Scotland, a young woman strives to fulfill her destiny despite the risks . . .

Shipwrecked on the Scottish coast, a young Saxon princess and her family-including the outlawed Edgar of England-ask sanctuary of the warrior-king Malcolm Canmore, who shrewdly sees the political advantage. He promises to aid Edgar and the Saxon cause in return for the hand of Edgar's sister, Margaret, in marriage.

A foreign queen in a strange land, Margaret adapts to life among the barbarian Scots, bears princes, and shapes the fierce warrior Malcolm into a sophisticated ruler. Yet even as the king and queen build a passionate and tempestuous partnership, the Scots distrust her. When her husband brings Eva, a Celtic bard, to court as a hostage for the good behavior of the formidable Lady Macbeth, Margaret expects trouble. Instead, an unlikely friendship grows between the queen and her bard, though one has a wild Celtic nature and the other follows the demanding path of obligation. 

Torn between old and new loyalties, Eva is bound by a vow to betray the king and his Saxon queen. Soon imprisoned and charged with witchcraft and treason, Eva learns that Queen Margaret-counseled by the furious king and his powerful priests-will decide her fate and that of her kinswoman Lady Macbeth. But can the proud queen forgive such deep treachery?

Impeccably researched, a dramatic page-turner, Queen Hereafter is an unforgettable story of shifting alliances and the tension between fear and trust as a young woman finds her way in a dangerous world.

Received as Christmas Gifts

11/22/63 by Stephen King


In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King-who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer-takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away-a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life-like Harry's, like America's in 1963-turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession-to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there's Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

Songs of Love and Death Edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

In this star-studded cross-genre anthology, seventeen of the greatest modern authors of fantasy, science fiction, and romance explore the borderlands of their genres with brand-new tales of ill-fated love. From zombie-infested woods in a post-apocalyptic America to faery-haunted rural fields in eighteenth- century England, from the kingdoms of high fantasy to the alien world of a galaxy-spanning empire, these are stories of lovers who must struggle against the forces of magic and fate. 

Award-winning, bestselling author Neil Gaiman demonstrates why he's one of the hottest stars in literature today with "The Thing About Cassandra," a subtle but chilling story of a man who meets an old girlfriend he had never expected to see.

International blockbuster bestselling author Diana Gabaldon sends a World War II RAF pilot through a stone circle to the time of her Outlander series in "A Leaf on the Winds of All Hallows." Torn from all he knows, Jerry MacKenzie determinedly survives hardship and danger, intent on his goal of returning home to his wife and baby-no matter the cost.

New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher presents "Love Hurts," in which Harry Dresden takes on one of his deadliest adversaries and in the process is forced to confront the secret desires of his own heart.

Just the smallest sampling promises unearthly delights, but look also for stories by New York Times bestselling romance authors Jo Beverley and Mary Jo Putney, and by such legends of the fantasy genre as Peter S. Beagle and Tanith Lee, as well as many other popular and beloved writers, including Marjorie M. Liu, Jacqueline Carey, Carrie Vaughn, and Robin Hobb. This exquisite anthology, crafted by the peerless editing team of George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is sure to leave you under its spell.

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One's prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unraveling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight.

The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age.

Perrin Aybara is now hunted by specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while, an unseen foe is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck. To prevail, he must seek answers in Tel'aran'rhiod and find a way--at long last--to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it forever.

Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The creatures beyond the stone gateways--the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn--have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other men's lives. He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. The time is coming when he will again have to dance with the Snakes and the Foxes, playing a game that cannot be won. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost.

This latest novel of Robert Jordan's #1 New York Times bestselling series--the second based on materials he left behind when he died in 2007--brings dramatic and compelling developments to many threads in the Pattern. The end draws near.

Other Book-Related Gifts:

Gift cards to Chapters Indigo, my favourite book store

Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Blu Ray Extended Edition

House Stark Stein, Game of Thrones

Night's Watch Mug, Game of Thrones

That's it for me.  What did you get in your mailbox or under the Christmas tree?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: I Am The Chosen King by Helen Hollick

In this beautifully crafted tale, Harold Godwinesson, the last Saxon King of England, is a respected, quick witted man both vulnerable and strong, honorable and loving -- and yet, in the end, only human. After the political turmoil and battles leading up to 1066, we all know William the Conquerer takes England. But Helen Hollick will have readers at the edge of their seats, hoping that just this once, for Harold, the story will have a different ending.

Synopsis courtesy of

My Review

5 Stars

Helen Hollick's sublime novel I Am The Chosen King brings England in the years immediately leading up to the Norman Conquest vividly to life.  It commences where Hollick's earlier pre-Conquest  novel, The Forever Queen, left off.  Harold Godwinesson, the English monarch best known for his defeat by William the Conqueror during the Battle of Hastings in 1066, is the primary subject of I Am The Chosen King.  The novel also features William, Duke of Normandy, and England's King Edward, who is better known today as Edward the Confessor. 

I Am the Chosen King contains all of the necessary elements which, to me, make a great work of historical fiction.  The author has done a masterful job of creating a strong sense of time and place, bringing the era alive for the reader and making them feel part of the action.  The historical detail is impressive and is evidence of the significant amount of research that went into crafting this novel.   While too much detail can serve to bog a novel down and detract from a story, in I Am The Chosen King the level of detail is just right.  As a result, the historical detail enhances the story and the reader's ability to connect with it.   Hollick paints a sympathetic portrait of Harold Godwinesson, a man not raised to the throne from birth, but who must accept it after the death of King Edward to ensure the peace and stability of England.   Hollick's William the Conqueror is a vain man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, which includes a throne he has no right to claim, while King Edward is shown to be a man ill suited to wear a crown.   

When facts are known, accuracy in historical fiction is important to me as a reader.   While Hollick does take some liberties in I Am the Chosen King, they are relatively minor and undertaken for the sake of the story.   Historical accuracy, however, does not trump my desire for a well told and interesting story.  I need both to be satisfied with a historical novel and this book delivers.   I was drawn into Harold's world right from the opening pages, never once becoming bored or wishing the story would end.   While the ultimate outcome of the battle between Harold and William of Normandy's is well-known, I couldn't help but hope that, this time around, things had turned out a little differently.  

I Am The Chosen King is recommended to readers of historical fiction who enjoy epic historical novels.   This book reminded me of Sharon Kay Penman's great historical novels, so fans of Penman should definitely check this one out.  

Note: The novel comes from my own personal collection.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mailbox Monday...The Week Before Christmas Edition

It's time for another edition of Mailbox Monday.   Mailbox Monday is a weekly travelling meme that is being hosted for the month of December by Jenny Q over at Let Them Read Books.

I know I shouldn't be out buying books right before Christmas, especially since I'm quite sure I'll find a few gift cards to my favourite bookstore under the tree Christmas morning, but it seems I just can't help myself.  

Here are the books that made their way into my home this past week -- All synopses come courtesy of

Received for review:

The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau

An aristocratic young nun must find a legendary crown in order to save her father-and preserve the Catholic faith from Cromwell's ruthless terror. The year is 1537. . .
Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the sacred rule of enclosure, Joanna leaves the priory to stand at her cousin's side. Arrested for interfering with the king's justice, Joanna, along with her father, is sent to the Tower of London.

The ruthless Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, takes terrifying steps to force Joanna to agree to spy for him: to save her father's life she must find an ancient relic-a crown so powerful, it may hold the ability to end the Reformation. Accompanied by two monks, Joanna returns home to Dartford Priory and searches in secret for this long-lost piece of history worn by the Saxon King Athelstan in 937 during the historic battle that first united Britain.

But Dartford Priory has become a dangerous place, and when more than one dead body is uncovered, Joanna departs with a sensitive young monk, Brother Edmund, to search elsewhere for the legendary crown. From royal castles with tapestry-filled rooms to Stonehenge to Malmesbury Abbey, the final resting place of King Athelstan, Joanna and Brother Edmund must hurry to find the crown if they want to keep Joanna's father alive. At Malmesbury, secrets of the crown are revealed that bring to light the fates of the Black Prince, Richard the Lionhearted, and Katherine of Aragon's first husband, Arthur. The crown's intensity and strength are beyond the earthly realm and it must not fall into the wrong hands.

With Cromwell's troops threatening to shutter her priory, bright and bold Joanna must now decide who she can trust with the secret of the crown so that she may save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. This provocative story melds heart-stopping suspense with historical detail and brings to life the poignant dramas of women and men at a fascinating and critical moment in England's past.

My Purchases:

At Home with the Templetons by Monica McInerney

When the Templeton family from England takes up residence in a stately home in Australia, they set the locals talking-and with good reason. From the outside, the seven Templetons seem so bohemian, unusual...peculiar even.

No one is more intrigued by the family than their neighbours, single mother Nina Donovan and her young son Tom. Before long, the two families' lives become entwined in unexpected ways, to the delight of Gracie, the sweetest of the Templeton children.

In the years that follow, the relationships between the Templetons and the two Donovans twist and turn in unpredictable and life-changing directions, until a tragedy tears them all apart. What will it take to bring them together again?

From Australia's top-selling female novelist comes her best book yet-a wonderfully entertaining and touching story about the perils and pleasures of love, friendship and family.

Breakfast at Darcy's by Ali McNamara

When Darcy McCall loses her beloved Aunt Molly, she doesn't expect any sort of inheritance - let alone a small island. Located off the west coast of Ireland, Tara hasn't been lived on for years, but according to Molly's will Darcy must stay there for twelve months in order to fully inherit, and she needs to persuade a village full of people to settle there, too. Darcy has to leave behind her independent city life and swap stylish heels for muddy wellies. Between sorting everything from the plumbing to the pub, Darcy meets confident Conor and ever-grumpy Dermot - but who will make her feel really at home? 

Divergent by Veronica Roth

One choice can transform you. Pass initiation. Do not fail! Thrilling urban dystopian fiction debut from exciting young author. In sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior's world, society is divided into five factions -- Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) -- each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a "perfect society." At the age of sixteen, teens must choose the faction to which they will devote their lives. On her Choosing Day, Beatrice renames herself Tris, rejects her family's group, and chooses another faction. After surviving a brutal initiation, Tris finds romance with a super-hot boy, but also discovers unrest and growing conflict in their seemingly "perfect society." To survive and save those they love, they must use their strengths to uncover the truths about their identities, their families, and the order of their society itself.

That is what arrived in my mailbox this week.   What did you get in yours?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Waiting of Wednesday

It's time for Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine that spotlights books we are eagerly anticipating the release of.

My pick this week is:

Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn
Publication Date: 3 April 2012

From the national bestselling author of Daughters of Rome and Mistress of Rome comes a tale of love, power, and intrigue spanning the wilds of the Empire to the seven hills of Rome. 

Powerful, prosperous, and expanding ever farther into the untamed world, the Roman Empire has reached its zenith under the rule of the beloved Emperor Trajan. But neither Trajan nor his reign can last forever... 

Brash and headstrong, Vix is a celebrated ex-gladiator returned to Rome to make his fortune. The sinuous, elusive Sabina is a senator's daughter who craves adventure. Sometimes lovers, sometimes enemies, Vix and Sabina are united by their devotion to Trajan. But others are already maneuvering in the shadows. Trajan's ambitious Empress has her own plans for Sabina. And the aristocratic Hadrian-the Empress's ruthless protégé and Vix's mortal enemy-has ambitions he confesses to no one, ambitions rooted in a secret prophecy. 

When Trajan falls, the hardened soldier, the enigmatic empress, the adventurous girl, and the scheming politician will all be caught in a deadly whirlwind of desire and death that may seal their fates, and that of the entire Roman Empire... 

What book are you waiting on this week?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Review: The Companion of Lady Holmeshire by Debra Brown

A baby girl was found in a basket on Squire Carrington's doorstep. She was raised and sent to work as a servant girl for The Countess of Holmeshire. The widowed and unconventional Countess chose Miss Emma Carrington as a companion and sent her off for finishing with the goal of dragging her along into genteel Victorian society. What sort of reception would she have at tea and dinners? The young Earl of Holmeshire was engaged by arrangement to a lovely London lady, but their relationship was difficult. Could they work it out? Even the tribulations and banned romances of the servants downstairs play into the story as we follow Emma from a stone fortress to a Victorian village and then into fabulous London mansions. Great surprises unfold at a Midsummer Night's Dream Ball which help to solve mysteries that have gradually developed. You are invited to predict the great revelation of the last few pages! 

Synopsis courtesy of

My Review

3 Stars

The Companion of Lady Holmeshire, the debut novel by author Debra Brown, is a charming tale set in England during the early years of Queen Victoria's reign.  The novel centres around Emma Carrington, a young woman of unknown parentage who, after serving within the Holmeshire household for several years, is sent away to be educated and returns to assume the position of companion to Lady Holmeshire.    

Overall, I enjoyed this first effort from Debra Brown.  The author's writing style and attention to period detail successfully take the reader back to early Victorian England.   The main characters are endearing, leaving the reader rooting for their happiness.  Nevertheless, I can't help but feel this novel tried to do a little too much.  While Emma's life as companion to Lady Holmeshire serves as the principal focus, the novel also contains several secondary plot lines.  These include the arranged engagement of the Earl of Holmeshire and Lady Genevieve, an engagement neither party is particularly enthusiastic about, as well as the Earl's efforts to improve the conditions of England's poor.  There is also a story line related to the budding romance between Emma's maid and a footman from another high society home, as well as a possible romance for Emma herself with a well-respected barrister -- although it seems Emma's heart lies elsewhere.   Lastly, there is an element of mystery threaded throughout the narrative, a mystery that for most of the book has seemingly little to do with Emma.  While I found most of the secondary plot lines entertaining, a couple of them -- particularly the romance between the lady's maid and the footman -- were of little benefit to the advancement of the novel's principle plot line and served only to detract from it.   Notwithstanding my feelings that this book had a little too much going on, I do think the author did a good job of tying everything together in the end.  This ultimately left me satisfied with the novel.

The Companion of Lady Holmeshire should appeal to readers looking for lighter fare that harkens back to days gone by, especially those with a penchant for Jane Austen-type spin-offs or Georgette Heyer Regency romances. 

Disclosure: The author of this novel kindly provided me with an e-copy for review.  This is no way influenced my opinion of the book. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Giveaway Winner...

I'm pleased to announce the winner of a copy of The Hypnotist by M.J. Rose as part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

The lucky winner, selected using, is.....


Congrats to the winner!  I'll be sending you an email shortly to get your mailing details.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

It's time for Waiting on Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine that spotlights books we are eagerly anticipating the release of.

My pick this week is:

The Lion Wakes by Robert Low
Release Date (North America): 26 February 2012 -- already available in UK

It is 1296 and Scotland is in turmoil. The old king, Alexander III, has died after falling off his horse one dark and stormy night. Scotland's future is in peril. Edward I of England, desperate to keep control of his northern borders, arranges for John Baliol, a weak man who Edward knows he can manipulate, to take leadership of Scotland. But unrest is rife and many are determined to throw off the shackles of England. Among those men is Robert the Bruce, darkly handsome, young, angry and obsessed by his desire to win Scotland's throne. He will fight for the freedom of the Scots until the end. But there are many rival factions and the English are a strong and fearsome opponent. The Lion Wakes culminates in the Battle of Falkirk which proves to be the beginning of a rivalry that will last for decades...

Synopsis courtesy of

What book are you waiting on this week?  


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mailbox Monday

It's time for another edition of Mailbox Monday.   Mailbox Monday is a weekly travelling meme that is being hosted for the month of December by Jenny Q over at Let Them Read Books.

Only one book for me this week, but I think it will be a good one!

Sea Witch by Helen Hollick

The first voyage of Captain Jesamiah Acorne, pirate, scoundrel and charming rogue, from acclaimed historical fiction author Helen Hollick. A meticulously researched, full-blooded adventure full of heart-stopping action, evil villains, treasure and romance.

That's it for me this week.  What arrived in your mailbox?